I love getting the chance to highlight great local Seattle music that’s brewing, and the new EP Fairweather Friends from The Horde and the Harem is just around the corner (4.12.14). Really dig this track that they shared with me, and I hope you all enjoy it too, look to find them playing a Seattle Living Room Show in May.
I have to say I think the band’s name is one of the greatest band names ever, what’s the story behind it’s birth?
We wanted the name to match the random/music with no borders vibe. It was a way to free us up to do anything we wanted.
Have you guys had any interaction with NASCAR Jr. or Sr.? what do they think of the band?
Dale Jr. gave us his blessing. He’s a fan.
Your music radiates a lot of positive energy and has a great catchiness while being distinctly unique, how would you guys describe your sound?
We do try to make pop music, but it is impossible for us to make lyrics and sounds that don’t have multiple layers. It’s sort of HIP HOP FOLK or just simply POP.
I know you guys infuse a lot of interesting sounds, what are some of the most unique objects/setups behind theses sounds that have been incorporated into your recordings and/or shows?
We use an OP-1 from teenage engineering that is responsible for a lot of the nuggets on the record. Josh is really the king of noise. He can build a sound from anything and make it beautiful.
What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to the band on tour? extra credit for any stories involving Seattle…
We recorded the “We Almost Lost Detroit” record store day EP in the parking lot of the Mariners baseball Stadium. We had to high pass everything to get the low hum of our generator out of the mix.
The keys to this song allow you to ponder the idea that your entering into some hip hop purity, maybe a little Common. Not quite, but close, some pulls on the violin, and you’re into the beautiful melodic trance of this song. I’ve heard bits and pieces from these guys before, but this track has me revisiting Bombay Bicycle Club with a bit closer ear.
As Jay-Z may say “allow me to re-introduce myself”…actually scratch that, these guys don’t need a re-introduction, their music has spoken more than enough, so it makes sense in my eye’s that they’ve dropped the “We Are…” to leave it at “Augustines”. Or maybe there was too many instances on stage repeating a vicious cycle of awkwardness in following a thanks to the crowd with a “We Are Augustines” not “we are” “Augustines”…maybe the latter stuck? Regardless and moving on from my semantics dissection, these guys were incredible last night at Neumos!
I had very high expectations going into this show, and was not disappointed to the least by the time the show came to a close…aside from the fact of having to leave. There’s something about a 3 piece that often times can be so musically pure, and I think these guys really and truly embody that. Everything was well balanced, a great mix of tracks from the new album released just a few days ago, to the old, from heavy guitar riffs, to quite ballads, even an acoustic mic-less “East Los Angeles”.
The only thing that wasn’t balanced, was lead singer Billy McCarthy’s emotion, that was on high all night long as he poured himself out on every single song. His message between songs was simple and genuine, but extremely powerful, he was so happy to be there, and he mentioned it often. “Be fucking happy in the moment, and you’ll be a happy person in life” or something similar to that resonated. He also reiterated his notion against the “move it along” mentality often struck in music, and instead to be present in the moment and take it all in.
Last night reinforced why these guys are one of my favorite bands, and with the buzz about them (re)staking ground in Seattle, I hope to see them around often in the near future, maybe an acoustic set for The Round…we can only anticipate what may be to come with these guys in our backyard…
With a few traces of this album over the last few months, I’ve been really looking forward to this release. Underlying the traces of new tracks however is reminiscing the epic level that Rise Ye’ Sunken Ships delivered in 2011. Looking forward to burning out the needle on this record!
How do you guys hold the tension in your music of a great catchiness, but at the same time a real raw element?
No idea. I write songs because they get stuck in my head and then we all try and figure out how to play them. Usually the ideas are laden with harmonies and counter melodic stuff, which is where the crafting comes in. Takes work and practice. Which is why, come recording time, we like to sing (and play) live as much as possible because this is what brings out the rawness and personality and the true band dynamic in real time.
Intricately woven vocals seem to play a major role in the band, can you tell me more about the construct and use of vocals?
Voices together create questions and answers, dissonance and harmony, tension and release…sometimes all in one line of one song. I think of multiple voices as a way to share all kinds of different perspectives. They tell the whole story. Not just one side.
What type of influence as well as meaning does the Pacific Northwest hold to the band?
I’ve lived in the NW all of my life. Grew up in Seattle. So there’s that. Thematically, a lot of our songs talk about isolating ourselves from a culture of greed and destructiveness and holing up somewhere in the evergreens. So there’s that again.
What was the vision and what’s reflected in the upcoming album Divisionary?
I think that Divisionary is a pretty optimistic album, but it’s a hard earned optimism that comes from observing and processing the darkness…which I think makes it more authentic. The optimism that is.
What’s on the docket post album release?…Can I assume a lot of touring into the wonderful festival & concert season of spring and summer?
Touring and playing music and doing what we do wherever we end up doing it. We’re going out with Mirah pretty soon and then with Lake Street Dive and have some festivals lined up too. We’re also pretty excited to go to Europe in February!